Joash is increasingly interested in doing things like games and puzzles. While waiting for your turn and other important parts to actually playing a game are a ways off, it surprises me how well he does. One of the first puzzles he learned to do was a matching puzzle. Each puzzle has two pieces that fit together. So you have to find the two pieces with raindrops on them and then slide the pieces together. We started small with me giving him the two pieces that went together, but he was quickly able to pick out the matching pieces on his own.
So I decided to try a simpler version of "Memory." We lay out all of the cards on the coffee table and Joash picks out the matching pairs (most of the time). It is also a great time to practice identifying animals. Of course, one quickly develops a certain routine. This game goes like this: Joash picks up a piece, says the name of the animal on it and looks for the match. Once the match has been spotted, he says, "found it," and double checks the match before stacking the pieces on top of one another.
Then comes the exciting part. He stands on top of the little stool that he often sits on by the coffee table, hops/falls of the stool and puts the match on the couch. Here is Joash by some of his matches.
It is fun to see him learn and be proud of himself. Joash is a bit of a timid kid, so right now we are pretty excited when he discovers he can do something by himself. That may change, I am sure, but we are happy to see how proud he is when he does something by himself.